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Spain's new fixed-income securities market

Jaime de la Torre Viscasillas
On May 7 2013, a new alternative fixed-income securities market (Mercado Alternativo de Renta Fija, the MARF) was created in Spain through a resolution passed by the Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF) management company's board of directors. The MARF is a way for companies (whose circumstances prevent them accessing official secondary markets) to obtain financing through the issue of fixed-income securities.

Other European countries already have alternative markets listing fixed-income securities, such as Germany's Eurex Bonds GmbH, Luxembourg's EuroMTF, and Ireland's Global Exchange Market – GEM.

The MARF is legally configured as a multilateral trading system, directed and managed by the AIAF management company's board of directors (the Governing Body). The Spanish Securities and Exchange Commission (the CNMV) supervises the MARF's Governing Body.

As it is an unofficial alternative market, the conditions for accessing it are more flexible and less costly than those imposed for the issue and admission to trading of fixed-income securities on official secondary markets, such as the AIAF. For example, a prospectus does not have to be registered with the CNMV, and the MARF only has to approve a listing document. Additionally, issuers must appoint a registered consultant to act as intermediary between them and the market, and a credit assessment report or solvency report issued by an ESMA registered and certified entity must also be provided before the issuance. However, the subscription and trading of securities on the MARF is restricted to qualified investors.

To promote and facilitate access to the MARF, some amendments to the existing legislation have also been approved.

The creation of the MARF has opened a new financing tool for a large number of solvent companies. They can obtain financing by issuing fixed-income securities on a market where the access requirements are more flexible than those for the official regulated markets, and where there is greater speed in processing the issues. In this way, the companies that use the MARF will be able to benefit from the simplified process and lower costs.

Jaime de la Torre Viscasillas

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